RSL head coach Jason Kreis will be asking player to think all week as the team gets back into action after their US Open Cup upset. With an important reserve match and a return to MLS action, Jason will be a busy guy this week. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
So Real Salt Lake has a couple of chances to finally get the taste of that 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Stars out of their mouth, as the FIFA break will end on Saturday when RSL will head to the Home Depot Center to take on Chivas USA, but before that is another important match.
A lot of the player who were on the pitch in that US Open match will be back in action on Tuesday morning as RSL will host the reserve team of the Chicago Fire. Now to say our reserves have struggled this year is an understatement, their 0-4-1 record simply leaves a lot to be desired. It has been almost two months since the last reserve league match but for the guys fighting to continue their development and to earn a shot at first team minutes this upcoming match will be huge as the roster finalization for semi-guaranteed contracts to become guaranteed contracts is coming up quickly and for some players this will be their last chance to convince the RSL staff that they have what it take to be part of this organization.
I would say given the fact that we have brought in a number of trialists, there were 3 at practice on Friday, that we could see some moves being made by RSL as they prepare to make a couple moves when the international transfer window opens. Now it is hard to tell a lot about players from just one practice session, but as I posted on Friday a couple of the trialists were very active in the practice session and that group was probably led by Kenny Mansally, who is a bit more of a proven quantity given his MLS pedigree, but both Matias Quiroga and Victor Garcia showed that they might have something special to offer RSL. I have to believe all three will be given a chance to prove themselves in a match situation on Tuesday.
more thoughts about the upcoming week after the jump:
So one more thing about Tuesday, we have a number of academy kids practicing with the team, and given that Jordan Allen has gotten a number of minutes with the reserves in the past, I am hoping he will get some more minutes on Tuesday.
So after the reserve match is put in the books on Tuesday, that evening the first round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying will be done it will mean a return to Salt Lake for our 4 guys who have been spending time with their national teams. Getting back Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Will Johnson, and Alvaro Saborio will provide a real boost for RSL as they will have a little time to practice before they will head to Los Angeles on Friday to get ready for a bit of revenge as they will look to get a full 3 points over Chivas USA.
We can remember back to week 3 of the MLS season when Chivas came into Rio Tinto and were able to use their defensive minded tactics to hold RSL without a goal and then were able to snatch a 72nd minute goal and get a very rare win against RSL at home. It was the first time since May of 2009 that Chivas USA had been able to get a win against RSL, now RSL will look to extend their winning ways at the Home Depot Center. RSL opened the season with a 3-1 over the LA Galaxy there, and since 2008 RSL is 3-2-1 against Chivas USA at the HDC.
With the race for the stop spot in the Western Conference, and all of MLS so tight, a win would put RSL up to the 10 win mark in just 15 matches and that is a might nice place to be. For me it is also about getting RSL playing more like we know they are capable of, as opposed to what we have seen this year which has been a lot of grinding out results. Don't get me wrong, I am very proud of the team who has had their top choice lineup together for just 59 minutes so far this year, but the time for us to start dominating teams like I believe we are capable of. I sure hope so.
Anyhow on all fronts I think this week will be one that could be a big one for RSL as they look to get the second leg of the MLS season started out on the right foot, and as a number of younger players look to secure their spot for the rest of the season.
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